These are tough times.

Money is tight for many. The future is uncertain for all. Political dynamics are in flux and it seems that everywhere we look we see an example of a growing social chaos.


We cannot simply tune out, of course. These troublesome plain truths are real, impact fellow human beings, and must be acknowledged regularly.

But sometimes, for sanity's sake, we need a win. And those are found in places large and small.

Some Redditors recently gathered to name the smallest, simplest pleasures that provide abundant relief. Their comments illustrate a mindset: be mindful of the things that feel good in a normal day, if only for a brief moment.

vasunn asked, "What are your little joys in life?"

A Private Ode

"The parking lot near my place occasionally has a van parked in it. The van has a license plate that says SALAD. Whenever I see this van I will say 'it's the salad man, in his salad van!'"

"I know this is stupid. I know it to my core. But I also know my life is ever so slightly better because of that salad man. It fills me with happiness to see his salad van."

-- theWildBore

Early Oasis

"I wake up at 6:00 am before my wife and 6mo old son. The house is dark and silent. I pour a cup of coffee and sit down on the couch. The moment that first sip hits my lips..."

"I'm not dad yet. I'm not husband yet. I'm just me in that moment, without a care in the world. I'll add that I adore my family, but that one moment each day is a nice little breath of fresh air."

-- Saragon1993

Suddenly, a Smoothness

"Finally getting that little piece of food out that's been stuck in your teeth for hours" -- dick-nipples

"Similarly, when you are laying on your side, and the low-side nostril is blocked, then you turn over and the mucus drains to the other side, briefly unblocking both nostrils." -- keenly_disinterested

Out of Character 

"When I randomly wake up at night and notice that my cat is sleeping cuddled against me or next to my head on my pillow."

"He doesn't like to cuddle but at night he is often very close to me."

-- Knofferini

Contemporary Cave

"When it's cold in your room but perfect temperature under the covers and you're spending the entire day snoozing in bed." -- FrostyHiccup

"Waking up while fall camping or in the alpine is this feeling to a tee."

"You're nice and warm and snug in your sleeping bag except for maybe the tip of your nose that's a little chilly."

"If you're lucky and didn't have any weather you might have set up the tent without the fly. It's still near or below freezing out but the sun is warming you quickly."

"It's just such a nice feeling." -- satanicwaffles

A Dynamic Landscape 

"Seeing the wildlife in the park that is basically my back yard. Owls, eagles, otters, beavers, all the little birds, turtles..." -- Squealio

"Yes! I live on a lake and love seeing all the ducks, geese, seagulls, herons, and egrets. But my favorite are the huge snapping turtles."

"I've lived on or within walking distance to this lake for about 25 years, and I never stop getting excited about the snappers. They look like miniature prehistoric beasts." -- techtchotchke

The Long Road He Took to Be Here

"Watching my old dog sleep comfortably."

"He came from a highly abusive home with trust issues and then I started fostering him when he was about 9 years old, adopted him a few months later and we're getting close to 3 years now."

"These days he mostly sleeps next to my desk as I work and next to my bed when I sleep, wish I had him earlier in life but I'll take what I can get."

-- TwoFoxSix

Earned Comfort

"Firewood. Getting outside and seeing immediate results of my labor is very rewarding. Plus a great workout." -- cloudywater1

"Exercise just hits different when you're splitting freakin' tree trunks in half with an axe. Or a wedge and sledge. Both are fun." -- MyCatGreg

Truly a Simple Pleasure

"I feel happiness when I eat a potato." -- botaine

"Similarly, I weirdly stopped eating cereal for several years. I recently got back into cereal, and it's strangely something I look forward to at night. Like, 'Oh sh** yeah, Raisin Bran tomorrow baby!'" -- messy_eater

Empathetic Sounds

"Playing Chopin on the piano. Chopin has a piece for every possible mood I'm in at the moment." -- Back2Bach

"So true. Chopin, more than any other composer, knew how to communicate an 'inner monologue' that comes alive when it's played in a state of flow rather than an extroverted performance." -- funhousefrankenstein

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